Norton School

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Norton School
Established 1905
Closed 2002
Type Comprehensive
Location Norton Road
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Local authority Hertfordshire
DfE URN 117513 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18

Norton School was a secondary school in Letchworth, Hertfordshire that was founded in 1905 and which closed in 2002 following a period of being in special measures. It has since been partially demolished and redeveloped as a collection of housing and apartments by Miller Homes.[1]


Originally named Norton Road School, the school was designed by Raymond Unwin. It was built in a quadrangle with a courtyard for open-air teaching and to allow lots of light and movement of air. These principles were later to become standard in school design but were very innovative at the time.[2]

Over the decades since its foundation, Norton School saw great expansion as pupil numbers grew, with various teaching blocks being added to accommodate these increasing numbers.

In the 1960s, the school hand bell disappeared, never to be seen again. Until that is, 2003 when the school site was being redeveloped for housing. A hand bell was discovered hidden under a man hole cover. On 9th November 2013 on BBC Radio 5 Live (Danny Baker Show) it was revealed by the culprit's son that the person responsible for the bell's mysterious disappearance was in fact the head girl at the time.

In its last year the school's thirty-two staff comprised thirteen staff on temporary contracts and nine from overseas - eight from South Africa and one from Jamaica. Fifteen of the staff joined the school in September 2001.[3] In its final year Norton School was taken over by The Knights' Templar School in neighbouring Baldock, and was renamed 'The Knights Templar School in Letchworth'. At this time the Norton School uniform of a sweat shirt was replaced with the Knights Templar uniform of jacket (with school badge) and school tie.

Following closure, pupils primarily transferred to Knights Templar School, while others transferred to the nearby Highfield School and Fearnhill School.

Former Headmasters

  • C.A. Pease, BA (1905-1917)
  • J.H. Haysman, JP (1917-1949)
  • Edgar John, BA (1949-1975)
  • Peter Wall, MA (1976-1995)
  • Keith Wadsworth (1995-1999)
  • Amanda Roberts (2000-2001)
  • Peter Chapman MA (2001-2002), Headmaster of Knights Templar School, with Associate Head Amanda Roberts (2001-2002)

Notable former pupils and staff

  • Shaun Hutson the horror writer attended the school
  • Glenn Christodoulou, Chairman of the Crimean War Research Society, taught at the school (1981-1989)
  • Dr Chris Howard OBE, former Head of History at the school and now Headteacher at the Lewis School in Pengam and President of NAHT Cymru (2009)


  1. "miller @ letchworth". Retrieved 2008-04-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Norton Road School on the First Garden City Heritage Museum website
  3. 'School could close for lack of good teachers' The Guardian 22 March 2002

External links